[DWJ] Sanderson

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Mon Jul 24 15:14:09 EDT 2006

Explaining the plot of _Elantris_ was difficult, precisely because it sounds
like a Tough Guide parody.  But the book itself is far too political, and
has too good a magic system, to fall into that category.  It is not a quest
story.  The main character is essentially dead for much of the book.  The
main bad guy is complex and fascinating and not really a bad guy (that might
be giving something away, but I think not; the plot does not hinge on
suddenly discovering that he's a White Hat after all).  The writing is
better than standard and tends toward the literary end of the spectrum
without being overly lyrical.  There are some flaws, of course, but they're
mostly ones you could attribute to his being a first-time novelist.

All of this is why I haven't bothered reading reviews for _Mistborn_ and
will just read the book.  I would like to see if Sanderson was just lucky or
is actually a good writer.  My sense is that he goes for the evocative
rather than the descriptive, and that doesn't always work out.  Sometimes a
writer can get so caught up in creating a mood that he forgets silly little
things like plot consistency and three-dimensional characters.  If he can
continue to create substance as well as feeling, he's probably going to do
all right.

Melissa Proffitt

On Mon, 24 Jul 2006 12:17:09 -0600, rohina at shaw.ca wrote:

>I thought the review read like something DWJ made fun of in Tough Guide, 
>but Melissa likes it... Too much contradictory information. Brain may 
>Melissa Proffitt wrote:
>>I was highly impressed by Brandon Sanderson's first book, _Elantris_, and I
>>should be getting _Mistborn_ soon.  (It was only just published in the last
>>week or so, and I'm a cheapskate.)  It was very difficult to explain the
>>plot of _Elantris_ sufficiently, so the, um, unintelligibility of the above
>>review (Publishers Weekly, BTW) is probably fair.  Sanderson has this weird
>>thing about names--they make sense within the book, but when they're first
>>presented, they seem really really stupid.  In _Elantris_, the characters
>>from a certain country all had very difficult-to-pronounce, stupid-looking
>>names; it was incongruous in what is otherwise a surprisingly mature first
>>novel.  Then you realize that all of the names have as a root a magical
>>syllable that has symbolic meaning.  So it makes sense, but I don't think
>>Sanderson sounds out his names before he writes them.  :)
>>I'd love to hear if anyone else has read _Elantris_ and what you think.
>>It's been the source of some controversy in my reading group--i.e. some
>>people think it's awful, and I think they're crazy.
>>Melissa Proffitt
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>>Dwj at suberic.net
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